Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Jan Assmann, Honorary Professor of Cultural and Religious Studies at the University of Constance, for a discussion of his career as a Egyptologist and scholar of comparative religions. After reflections on his formative years in a German medieval town suffering from the ravages of World War II and its aftermath, Assmann describes the community of Egyptologists and the intellectual influences that shaped his scholarship. He also characterizes the intellectual joys and hardships of field research in ancient tombs. Finally, he touches on some of the themes of his scholarship including the evolution of ideas that characterize religious change; comparison of Moses and Akhenaten; and the importance of writing, canonization, and exegesis to cultural memory and the resilience and survival of religions.
From Akhenaten to Moses: Ancient Egypt and Religious Change
Honorary Professor of Cultural and Religious Studies at the University of Constance